Winter TV Roundup, Week 1

A new year is here. We’ve put the Fall of 2022 behind us. Sure, you probably have a mountain of half finished shows you still need to get through. No matter, it’s on to what’s new! But are the new shows worth your time? That’s what this weekly roundup is all about. I look at the pilot and second episode of new scripted series to help you determine what’s worth checking out and what’s safe to skip. Let’s dive in as the new year gave us two new shows on the first day of the year!

Sundays:
Paul T. Goldman, Now Streaming on Peacock (Premiered January 1)
About:
The first new series of the year for Peacock is a hybrid reality/comedy series that figures to have some appeal. The true crime docuseries has been hot for years. In this one, we meet Paul T. Goldman who may be a real person? The show is predicated on you note really knowing the answer to that question. But Goldman was scammed by an ex-wife and now is telling his story. So this meta comedy is a documentary about the making of a true crime docudrama starring Goldman and written by him. Except, aspects of the story keep changing. This comes from Jason Woliner, the director behind the Borat film and Nathan Fielder’s The Rehearsal. The first three episodes dropped Sunday with the rest of the six-episode season dropping weekly. Each episode is about a half an hour and features a mix of interviews, recreations and more. I thought Goldman was affable as a lead and the story was somewhat crazy and somewhat compelling. How you feel about the series in general will depend on your love for the format and these types of stories. I thought it worked somewhat and could end up being fairly compelling. If nothing else, it’s certainly something different for a streaming service still looking for an identity.
Pilot Grade: C+
Second Episode: C+

Streaming Series:
Kaleidoscope, Now Streaming on Netflix (Premiered January 1)
About: Netflix, the king of streaming content by volume, also dropped its first new series on the year’s first day. In this case, an eight-episode heist drama with a cast including Giancarlo Esposito and Rufus Sewell, among others. Each episode runs 45 to 50 minutes, with all eight episodes available to stream. The catch? The series drops in a different order for each user. While the instruction to watch the episode titled “White” last is universal, the rest of the story is meant to be watched in whatever sequence someone wishes. Each episode is a color, and each begins with a time frame before or after the heist. It’s all meant to get you into the story and allow you to choose your own adventure. You can watch the episodes in the order give, or you can bounce around. It’s up to the viewer. Does this gambit work? It’s unclear. My first two episodes were “Yellow” and “Green,” and I watched them in the order given to see what it would be like. If you want to know a chronological order, you can easily look it up. I didn’t love my first episode in terms of being a pilot, but it seemed to flow to the second OK. The cast is solid and the story is somewhat engaging. The second of my episodes, “Green,” actually pulled me into the story more. It’s a novel approach and provides something new for those that want to dive into fresh content in 2023!
Pilot Grade: C
Second Episode: C+

Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. He is a member of the FSWA. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast.

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